Son Heung-min contemplated returning the Taegeuk mark “Like (Kim) Min-jae said, you have to put your head down and run”

Son Heung-min’s affection for his national team remained high after scoring the opening goal against Thailand, and it seems he had been contemplating hanging up his tricolor after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar.

The South Korean national soccer team, led by Hwang Sun-hong, drew 1-1 at home against Thailand in the third match of Group C of the Asian qualifying round for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup at Sangam World Cup Stadium in Seoul at 8 p.m. on June 21.

Son Heung-min started as a left wing forward and moved freely throughout the match. He was also active in the center and on the right flank, leading the team’s attack.

In the 41st minute, Lee Jae-sung broke down the defense and calmly slotted home a cutback pass to give South Korea the lead in front of their first home fans in four months.

However, Korea was unable to hold on to the lead as Thailand equalized in the 16th minute of the second half. Son Heung-min, in the mood for a comeback, calmly converted a pass from Hong Hyun-seok in the 22nd minute, only to have the goal called back for offside.

After the game, Son Heung-min said, “The result is quite disappointing, but I think there were a lot of positives from the players’ efforts in a short time. We need to prepare better for the next game,” said Son.

“I think the players worked well together today, they tried to give each other an extra step, and I think we did a good enough job of attacking and creating chances. It’s always a challenge to create offensive chances against a defensive team, but it’s definitely a challenge. But I think the players created some good chances today. I think that’s a good thing.”

“I think that was the biggest takeaway from today’s game,” said Son Heung-min, who had said at the press conference the day before that he would ‘stick together as one’. I think that’s the biggest thing we got out of today’s game,” he said, emphasizing that everyone, from the players who played to the players who didn’t play, tried to work together as one, which is what we needed the most.

Lee Kang-in came on in the second half, and Son Heung-min exchanged passes with him in the second line to put pressure on the Thai defense. The two players had clashed at the Asian Cup, but now they were supporting each other. “He (Lee) is a very good player and has a lot of talent. I don’t have to do anything special. In the second half, Kang In came in and tried to call the atmosphere. Toward the end, I could feel my breathing getting better and better. It’s fun to see him grow as a player every time,” he smiled.

“It’s special to score a goal for the national team in a uniform,” he said of the goal. I’m happy beyond words. I scored the goal, but I couldn’t have done it without the 토토 help of a lot of players, their movements, their help. It feels good to be able to score as a teammate,” he said. “I’ll be very disappointed that we didn’t get the three points today. I never thought about myself first in soccer. Everything was for the team, and when the team is doing well, I think I’m doing well naturally.”

Finally, Son shared his feelings about retiring from the national team. In his previous interviews after the Asian Cup elimination and the recent loss to Fulham, he revealed that he had seriously thought about hanging up his tricolor.

“It’s a difficult question. I said it then, but I never took the national team for granted. I was grateful every time, and I was honored every time.” “Again, I think I would have stopped if I thought only about myself. I was really close to that, and I asked a lot of retired players. (Park) Ji Sung-hyung, (Ki) Sung Yong-yi, (Cha) Doo-ri, and many others, I talked to them and asked for advice. The most common question was, “Do I deserve it?” and I had to make some tough choices. I had a lot of support from my fans and family, and it gave me strength. I wanted to fulfill my promise and it made me grow so that I wouldn’t have these weak thoughts again.”

“As long as I can be myself, as long as the national team has me as their blood dragon, I will stick my head in the sand, as (Kim) Min-jae said,” she added.